Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.’ — Matthew 10:29-31
Many years ago, a certain summer monsoon kicked up over the Arizona desert.
Towering and ominous looking anvil stormheads were gathering in strength and rapidly sweeping over the mountains to the north. The lead breezes picked up rapidly in earnest. Within minutes, a giant cloud of desert sand and grit rose high into the air, a billowing mass of filth which was growling with a ferocious display of lightning and crashing thunder.
A few minutes more and the full fury of the tempest hit my area, spilling torrential buckets of rain onto the hard granite and dry-pack of the desert floor.
Unable to absorb such a massive quantity of water, the washes and streets were quickly filled with flash floods. Branches were flying, trees were groaning in agony at the pressure of the winds, and the skies were completely black.
Twenty minutes later, it was over as quickly as it had started. I wandered out front to survey the damage. What a mess. The clouds were quickly departing and the last of the setting sun lit up the front yard and surrounding area with a startling amount of clarity.
It was then that I noticed a little sparrow downed on my front sidewalk. It looked to be dead. Upon closer inspection the quivering little lump of mottled feathers was soaked right to the bone. Its eyes were wide in fright and almost glazed over, but the little beak was clearly moving in a feeble, soundless cry for help.
I reached down and gently picked it up. It hardly moved, as I carefully brought it closer to my face and talked to it softly. The little bird closed its eyes, but I could still see it breathing.
I quickly went into the house with my new patient and found an old shoebox. I looked around for something soft and decided on double-ply tissues for the bedding, which I arranged into a cozy nest. A used water bottle top served for a drinking trough. I affixed an unused lamp with a 25-watt bulb as a gentle source of warmth and light. Finally satisfied that I had given the bird a fighting chance, I eventually turned in for bed.
I woke up early the next morning and immediately went to check on my little sparrow. When I opened the door to the spare room, I was surprised to find that the box was empty. No bird. I stood there for a minute wondering where it might have gotten to when suddenly I noticed it perched on the curtain rod above the window. I was surprised again, because that mottled little bird of the previous night was resting there peacefully all fluffy and healthy looking.
It flapped around the room a bit as I tried to gather it again into my hands. Eventually it stopped struggling, just long enough for me to catch it and take it outdoors to the back patio. I carefully set the bird down on the patio table, really expecting it to take off immediately. Instead, it just sat there looking at me.
Maybe it was still hurt and couldn’t fly. I slowly moved my hand across the table and stuck out my index finger. It jumped right on and I was surprised yet again. It seemed happy just to perch there.
Well, we stood there together like that for a while. I was marveling at this little sparrow, and my little friend just contentedly gripped my index finger. Finally, I raised up my arm and with a gentle toss the bird flew off into a tree. A couple of moments later it flew away, out of site.
Now… just imagine how tender Jesus is with all of us. Don’t fear your Savior. If a wretch like me could muster up a little compassion for a bird, just imagine how much more gentle and loving our Jesus will be with you. Believe it, because His words in the Gospel tell you so and He is the Truth.